Camp Shelby is the largest state-owned and operated field training site in the U.S. at 134,000 acres and is currently used as a mobilization center for the Reserve Component. The camp is located largely in the DeSoto National Forest, while the U.S. Forest Service manages a special use permit for military activities. Camp Shelby hosts the Joint Forces Training Center, Navy Seabee construction battalion field training exercises, and training for other Services.
Located near two highways, the city of Hattiesburg's primary industrial park, and a municipal airport, Camp Shelby is threatened by development that would impact its readiness mission. To protect an assault landing airstrip, tank range maneuver sites, and artillery and other weapons firing ranges, the camp has a unique partnership with CLF, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Wild Turkey Federation, and others.
Under the partnership to protect Camp Shelby, CLF is acquiring conservation easements as well as key properties outright. Those acquired outright will be managed for timber resources as well as Long Leaf Pine restoration. This land is also habitat for numerous notable and rare species, such as the gopher tortoise and other flora and fauna. Together, the partnership is working as part of a broader effort across the region to preserve this imperiled ecosystem and benefit military readiness.